Skip To Content



Your privacy is important. Our Cookies Statement explains how we use cookies on this site. You can change their use at any time. You accept them by continuing to use this site. Our Privacy Statement explains how we use and protect your data.

HMS Victory (1759)

Informaton about HMS Victory (1759)

Laid down in 1759, HMS Victory was based upon HMS Royal George and was intended as a first rate ship of 100 guns. The end of the Seven Years War meant that rather than the usual six months of seasoning for the ships timbers after the frame had been constructed, Victory was left to season for almost three years. Victory was finally launched in 1765 and as there was no immediate requirement for her use, she was roofed over and kept in reserve on the River Medway for the next 13 years.

She undertook her first commission in 1778 under the command of Rear Admiral John Campbell, when France became involved in the American War of Independence, taking part in the First and Second Battles of Ushant in 1778 and 1781.

In 1797, Victory played a role in the defeat of the Spanish fleet in the opening engagement of the Anglo-Spanish wars at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, returning to England the following year for reconstruction.

The loss of the first rate HMS Impregnable in 1799 led the Admiralty to upgrade Victory and, as work began, several notable defects were found leading to a major reconstruction. It was during this period her colour scheme was changed from red and black to the more familiar yellow and black with black gun ports known as Nelson Chequer, a colour scheme adopted by all Royal Navy Ships after the Battle of Trafalgar.

Her role in the Battle of Trafalgar is well known and after returning Nelson's body to England, Victory undertook several expeditions, including two Baltic voyages until she was retired from active service in 1812 and used as a depot ship.

In 1899, Victory was fitted out as a signalling school and remained as such until 1904 when a permanent land school was established, leaving her abandoned. She began to deteriorate until the Save The Victory campaign was started in 1921. In 1922, she was moved to No 2 Dry Dock in Portsmouth when the first of several phases of restoration began.

Today, HMS Victory remains in Portsmouth as part of The National Historic Fleet Core Collection. She remains in commission as the Flagship of the First Sea Lord and is the oldest warship still in commission.

Related Departments

HMS Victory (1759) Related Lots

Lot FS28/603

Lot FS28/603: A Scale Model of HMS Victory

A scale model of HMS Victory, fully rigged over detailed decks with cannon, lifeboats, carved figurehead, open gun ports with guns, Nelson stripe hull, galleriedstern and three quarter galleys, 164cm long, 114cm high. constructed 2005 made in Mauritius for the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar.

Estimate: £400 - £600
Realised: £360

Lot MA14/175

Lot MA14/175: HMS Victory - A Section of Orlop Deck Beam Timber with Presentation Plaque

HMS Victory - A section of orlop deck beam timber with presentation plaque, removed during repairs in 1888, 17cm x 23cm x15cm.

Estimate: £250 - £350
Realised: £390

Lot MA13/215

Lot MA13/215: A Pair of 19th Century Reverse-glass Silhouette Pictures 'H MS. Victory' and 'H MS. Royal Albert'

A pair of 19th Century reverse-glass silhouette pictures 'H MS. Victory' and 'H MS. Royal Albert', both depicted with standing and running rigging in the company of other shipping, inscribed as per title in oval verre eglomise frames with floral spandrels, 43 x 54cm (Royal Albert cracked lower left corner).

Estimate: £300 - £500
Realised: £240

No Image of Lot Available

Lot MA13/305: A Cased Copper and Brass Model 'HMS Victory'

A cased copper and brass model 'HMS Victory' with copper sails with rigging over brass gunwhales and three quarter gallery, on a mahogany plinth, in a glazed case, 66cm x 21cm x 41cm.

Estimate: £350 - £400
Realised: £320

Lot MA13/217

Lot MA13/217: A 19th Century Reverse-glass Silhouette Picture of 'H MS. Victory'

A 19th Century reverse-glass silhouette picture of 'H MS. Victory', set at anchor with standing and running rigging in the company of other shipping, inscribed as per title in a verre eglomise frame 29 x 245cm.

Estimate: £150 - £250
Realised: £150

Lot MA13/236

Lot MA13/236: An Early 19th Century Commemorative Reverse Glass Allegorical Picture

An early 19th Century commemorative reverse glass allegorical picture, 'Admiral Lord Nelson mortally wounded by a musket ball in the moment of a brilliant and decisive victory over the combined fleets of France and Spain, Oct 21 1805', published Feb 1st 1806 by Peter Barnaschina, 73, Leather Lane, Holbourn, 25cm x 35.5cm, damage lower left corner.

Estimate: £150 - £200
Realised: £250

No Image of Lot Available

Lot MA13/362: After JW M Turner

After JW M Turner 'Nelson's ship the Victory in the Battle of Trafalgar', monochrome engraving, published by Henry Graves & Company April 8th 1858, subject size 56 x 80cm.

Estimate: £100 - £150
Realised: £280